Clean Earth Technologies has this week signed an Australian landmark agreement with Flinders University to commercialise a revolutionary clean-up solution for some of the world’s biggest environmental problems – oil spills, mercury pollution and fertiliser runoff.
The company has formalised its partnership with the University’s Chalker Research Lab, acquiring a suite of patents and setting up an ongoing research collaboration.
It plans to establish the first large-scale manufacturing facility in South Australia to take the polymer product to global markets, creating a new export industry and job opportunities.
The absorbent polysulfide agent was invented by award-winning South Australian scientist, Associate Professor Justin Chalker, and is made from two low-cost ingredients – sulfur, a massive waste by-product of the petroleum industry, and plant oil, such as Canola, or other waste cooking oil.
The product has proven to be effective in managing agricultural fertilisers and limit damaging runoff into the environment; capturing mercury pollution released by industries like oil and gas, coal-fired power plants, mineral processing and agriculture; and efficiently absorbing oil spills.
CET Chairman and Co-Founder, Paul Hanna, said that the partnership was an important breakthrough in the group’s search for solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental waste problems.
Devastating oil spills, growing piles of e-waste and toxic mercury pollution are serious issues facing the majority of countries around the world and come with significant financial, social and environmental costs,” Mr Hanna said.
“Technology like this, which uses waste to address waste, has huge advantages for the environment, as well as our communities and industries moving forward.”
Ongoing collaboration between CET and the Chalker Research Lab, at Flinders University, will support further development of the polymer technology for new applications such as its potential use in e-waste recycling.
CET’s suite of patents includes a class of novel polymers used for environmental remediation and a mercury-free method of precious metal extraction and recovery.